LOS ANGELES — Pranati Pillutla was one of four Cal State L.A. students who were recently named Edison Scholars for 2014-15.
The Edison Scholars program is funded by a $1 million endowment from Edison International to the university’s Honors College. Scholarships are awarded to each scholar for their academic excellence and their passion for the sciences. They receive scholarship support annually until they graduate from Cal State L.A.
Pillutla, an Indian American Simi Valley resident, is a biochemistry major who hopes to pursue a medical or doctoral degree. Her goal is to find a treatment for autism. Her brother, who is diagnosed with autism, has inspired her to focus on a career in biomedical research.
She also wants to serve as an educational and health advocate for the special needs community.
“My goal to become a physician-scientist and make a difference in the lives of those with special needs,” she stated in an Edison Scholars press release
She was admitted to Cal State L.A. through the Early Entrance Program in the Honors College at age 14 after finishing ninth grade at Simi Valley High School.
As an undergraduate student, she had the opportunity to participate in Dr. Robert Vellanoweth’s molecular biochemistry lab, conducting research in cell signaling. Studies show that autism may be associated with altered cellular signaling.